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How to repair a ceramic vase

Adding a unique decorative touch to wherever they're placed, vases come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials, from simple glass pieces to polished and etched metal to the fragile beauty of porcelain and ceramic vases. The ease of working with ceramic makes the material a preferred medium for many artists, and ceramic vases often sport ornate physical and painted designs. Ceramic vases break easily if dropped or hit, but they can be repaired.

Examine the vase to determine the extent of the damage. Simple chips and cracks can be repaired with ceramic adhesive or cement, while larger or irregular damages may require using putty to aid in cosmetic repairs.

Sand both broken edges for any cracked or chipped sections. Be careful to keep the sandpaper on the broken edges and not the face. Clean away the sand with a sponge dampened with warm water, followed by a clean cloth.

Apply the ceramic cement or polyvinyl adhesive to one of the broken edges. Press the broken edges together for two minutes, and then scrape away any excess cement with a razor blade.

Secure masking tape over the crack or chip to hold the pieces in place. Leave the vase sitting in a position that reduces the stress on the damaged location as the cement dries. Let dry for at least three hours

Clean the edges of any area with a chunk of ceramic missing. Again, use a sponge dampened with warm water followed by a clean cloth.

Fill the missing chunk with wall putty. Smooth out the putty to match the contour of the vase. Allow the putty to dry completely.

Select a paint that closely matches the colour of the missing section. Paint the dried wall putty in a way that matches the design of the original missing section. Multiple coats may be needed to darken the colour of the paint.

Apply a clear sealant to the area after the paint has dried. Add putty and sealant to internal damages if the vase will hold water.

Things You'll Need

  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Sponge
  • Clean cloth
  • Polyvinyl adhesive or ceramic cement
  • Razor blade
  • Masking tape
  • Wall putty
  • Clay tools
  • Sealant
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About the Author

Brad Chacos started writing professionally in 2005, specializing in electronics and technology. His work has appeared in Salon.com, Gizmodo, "PC Gamer," "Maximum PC," CIO.com, DigitalTrends.com, "Wired," FoxNews.com, NBCNews.com and more. Chacos is a frequent contributor to "PCWorld," "Laptop Magazine" and the Intuit Small Business Blog.